Bracketology 3/9/2019



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It would be ironic (delightful) if Missouri State defeated Drake in the MVC championship and, by doing so, bumped Tennessee from the NCAA tournament. The coach of Missouri State is Kellie Jolly Harper. She was a point guard for the Chamique Holdsclaw 1996-98 Tennessee team that won the three consecutive championships.
 
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This may sound stupid but I would prefer MSST to play Baylor at Greensboro than UConn in Albany or Oregon in Portland. I think our best match would be Louisville anywhere!
We are better than Oregon in Portland, Eugene, or the moon. We weren't very good the first time we played them, Teaira scored 5 points and it was still anybody's game in the 4th quarter. Our best beats their best. Period.
 
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Those games have been played. Everyone stay within yourself. Don't try to win it by yourself. You can't.
 

nwhoopfan

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We are better than Oregon in Portland, Eugene, or the moon. We weren't very good the first time we played them, Teaira scored 5 points and it was still anybody's game in the 4th quarter. Our best beats their best. Period.
This again? Ionescu also had a terrible shooting game. Boley and Sabally also had fairly small contributions. Are you sure Oregon was at their best when they beat MSU? Do you think Vic figured out a better way to defend the pick and roll? 40 minutes wasn't nearly enough for him to figure it out during that game.
 
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A&M is a marginal Top 16 seed at best; Stanford is in the discussion for the last #1 national seed. I must have missed why these two teams are even being compared.
With Chennedy Carter coming off of finger surgery I think even that's a stretch. She was doing whatever she wanted right before she slipped on the sweaty floor last week. But coming back with a sore shooting hand...
 
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We are better than Oregon in Portland, Eugene, or the moon. We weren't very good the first time we played them, Teaira scored 5 points and it was still anybody's game in the 4th quarter. Our best beats their best. Period.
If MSU ends up in the Portland regional, I will look forward to watching UO vs MSU DEUX! I've observed MSU home games (via television), and no doubt an advantage with MSU's fan base. Portland will be heavy UO fan base (even a few OSU fans). An advantage that will matter if this matchup happens again.
 

jonson

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This again? Ionescu also had a terrible shooting game. Boley and Sabally also had fairly small contributions. Are you sure Oregon was at their best when they beat MSU? Do you think Vic figured out a better way to defend the pick and roll? 40 minutes wasn't nearly enough for him to figure it out during that game.
RELENTLESS, adj.

1) showing or promising no abatement of severity, intensity, strength, or pace

2) a Mississippi State WBB fan
 

oldude

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This again? Ionescu also had a terrible shooting game. Boley and Sabally also had fairly small contributions. Are you sure Oregon was at their best when they beat MSU? Do you think Vic figured out a better way to defend the pick and roll? 40 minutes wasn't nearly enough for him to figure it out during that game.
If MSU ends up in the Portland regional, I will look forward to watching UO vs MSU DEUX! I've observed MSU home games (via television), and no doubt an advantage with MSU's fan base. Portland will be heavy UO fan base (even a few OSU fans). An advantage that will matter if this matchup happens again.
RELENTLESS, adj.

1) showing or promising no abatement of severity, intensity, strength, or pace

2) a Mississippi State WBB fan
Guys, I don’t have a dog in this fight. But I will point out that the Bulldogs have made it to the National Championship game each of the past two years. As for Kelly Graves and the Ducks, this is really a “put up or shut up year.” If OR gets knocked off again short of the FF, particularly in Portland, there will be some legitimate questions about the direction and leadership of WBB in Eugene.
 

TheFarmFan

Stanford Fan, Huskies Admirer (most of the time)
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On a totally different bracketology note, the PAC-12 WBB podcast had an interesting interview with Charlie Creme (which begins around 38:30). At 42:30, he talks about how he actually has a full-time job as a medical pharmaceutical sales representative, and that he has to take "vacation" time in February and March for the conference tournaments and the NCAA tournament. Wow. Makes me appreciate how hard his (part-time) job is, and a little bad about how much grief he gets from fans given that bracketology is not a job ESPN will pay a full-time journalist to do.

Incidentally, there's a terrific interview with Stanford's Dijonai Carrington beginning around 15:30. At the 29:50 mark, they asked her about her volunteer work with disabled military vets, the homeless, and tutoring kindergarten students. This is what she had to say when asked what drives her to help:

"I feel like the platform I have, if I don't use it for good, then it deserves to be taken away from me. I have gone through so many things where I have needed people to help me or come alongside me, and just being able to do that for other people, it's heart-warming, and it makes me feel like I deserve to be in the place that I am. I know a lot of people have bigger platforms, but in my community, and out here in Palo Alto, and in San Diego, that me being a college athlete, there's a very small percentage of us, and if we don't give back to our community, then it's like, I think this was so selfish. Time is short, life is short, and you just have to make the most of every opportunity to help anybody else, and it's all about reaching to those deep, deep corners that no one else wants to see."
Definitely representing the best of what a student-athlete is. Great interviews with both of them, and makes you appreciate the humans these players and commentators are off the court and outside the broadcast booth.
 

Orangutan

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If OR gets knocked off again short of the FF, particularly in Portland, there will be some legitimate questions about the direction and leadership of WBB in Eugene.
Legitimate questions? From whom? His bosses have to be thrilled with what Graves has done for the program.

Anecdotally, it seems to me like Oregon is the hot team in recruiting with interest from lots of top prospects. Players see what Ionescu has done and want to play in that offense. I don't think their NCAA tourney performance this year will change that.

I take the point that this is a huge opportunity to make the Final Four while they have a superstar like Ionescu, but I think they will be fine long-term regardless, especially if they land a great 2020 recruiting class as I expect they will.
 

oldude

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Legitimate questions? From whom? His bosses have to be thrilled with what Graves has done for the program.

Anecdotally, it seems to me like Oregon is the hot team in recruiting with interest from lots of top prospects. Players see what Ionescu has done and want to play in that offense. I don't think their NCAA tourney performance this year will change that.

I take the point that this is a huge opportunity to make the Final Four while they have a superstar like Ionescu, but I think they will be fine long-term regardless, especially if they land a great 2020 recruiting class as I expect they will.
It’s about expectations and performance in the big games. From the time Oregon signed the talented class in 2016, followed by a Cinderella run to the Elite 8 during the 2017 tournament before being knocked out by UConn, there has been an expectation that the Ducks were destined to be one of WBB’s very best teams.

Last season, Oregon fell apart in the 2nd half against ND. This season, the loss to Stanford in the PAC12 finals, dropping OR to a 2-seed, once again raises the question in my mind whether or not Oregon can close out a good team in a big game.

If the Ducks are happy with 25+ wins per year and advancing to the Elite 8, then I agree with you. Graves bosses must be thrilled. But my sense is that the expectation on Eugene is for WBB to be in the rarified air of WBB with ND, UConn, etc.
 

nwhoopfan

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I'm in no way an insider, but I can't imagine Oregon would be dissatisfied w/ back to back conference regular season titles and what will probably be 30+ win seasons. They don't have a lot of basketball history. Never even made it to the Sweet 16 before Graves. That would be beyond foolhardy to even think about making a change, regardless of it they make the Final 4 this year.
 

oldude

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I'm in no way an insider, but I can't imagine Oregon would be dissatisfied w/ back to back conference regular season titles and what will probably be 30+ win seasons. They don't have a lot of basketball history. Never even made it to the Sweet 16 before Graves. That would be beyond foolhardy to even think about making a change, regardless of it they make the Final 4 this year.
I’m not suggesting that Graves is going anywhere. My suggestion is simply that Oregon WBB has been building expectations for 3 seasons now. If the Ducks come up short of the FF this season, particularly out of the Portland region, it has to be disappointing.
 

nwhoopfan

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If the Ducks come up short of the FF this season, particularly out of the Portland region, it has to be disappointing.
Agreed. It's certainly the next step and what they are aspiring to.
 
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It's hard to be too critical of Oregon for not closing out Notre Dame in last year's E8 when UConn and MSU both failed to do the same in the Final Four.

No doubt that anything less than a Final Four this year for Oregon will seem like a disappointment. How quickly things change. From unheralded 10-seed Cinderella that made the E8 two years ago, to "Final Four or Bust" this year. But with 7 teams that at various times have looked capable of winning the title this season, the competition in 3 of the regions will be stiff.
 

Golden Husky

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On a totally different bracketology note, the PAC-12 WBB podcast had an interesting interview with Charlie Creme (which begins around 38:30). At 42:30, he talks about how he actually has a full-time job as a medical pharmaceutical sales representative, and that he has to take "vacation" time in February and March for the conference tournaments and the NCAA tournament. Wow. Makes me appreciate how hard his (part-time) job is, and a little bad about how much grief he gets from fans given that bracketology is not a job ESPN will pay a full-time journalist to do.

Incidentally, there's a terrific interview with Stanford's Dijonai Carrington beginning around 15:30. At the 29:50 mark, they asked her about her volunteer work with disabled military vets, the homeless, and tutoring kindergarten students. This is what she had to say when asked what drives her to help:



Definitely representing the best of what a student-athlete is. Great interviews with both of them, and makes you appreciate the humans these players and commentators are off the court and outside the broadcast booth.
So Crème didn't graduate from bracketology school and doesn't have a degree in advanced bracketology as his resume states! This is why I prefer to get all my bracketology assessments and predictions from The Boneyard.
 

jonson

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I’m not suggesting that Graves is going anywhere. My suggestion is simply that Oregon WBB has been building expectations for 3 seasons now. If the Ducks come up short of the FF this season, particularly out of the Portland region, it has to be disappointing.
Of course it will be disappointing to the team's fans, as would any loss. But being disappointed and saying "maybe next year" is not the same thing as having "legitimate" questions about the leadership and direction of a program. What counts as reasonable expectations and/or a successful season for UCONN or Notre Dame or maybe a small handful of other teams is not a realistic measuring stick for almost all of the other 300+ teams who play Division 1 WBB. Given the 10+ losing seasons that preceded Graves's arrival, it's difficult to imagine that the past five years should, or even could, have gone much better. UCONN fans expect more, and rightly so, but that's a completely different--and in some ways irrelevant--story.
 

oldude

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Of course it will be disappointing to the team's fans, as would any loss. But being disappointed and saying "maybe next year" is not the same thing as having "legitimate" questions about the leadership and direction of a program. What counts as reasonable expectations and/or a successful season for UCONN or Notre Dame or maybe a small handful of other teams is not a realistic measuring stick for almost all of the other 300+ teams who play Division 1 WBB. Given the 10+ losing seasons that preceded Graves's arrival, it's difficult to imagine that the past five years should, or even could, have gone much better. UCONN fans expect more, and rightly so, but that's a completely different--and in some ways irrelevant--story.
All right, I'll get my nose out of a place where it doesn't belong. For the record, if Oregon runs into MS St, I really do hope that the Ducks prevail, because my Huskies just don't match up as well against a 6'7" post. Good luck vs the Bulldogs.
 
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All right, I'll get my nose out of a place where it doesn't belong. For the record, if Oregon runs into MS St, I really do hope that the Ducks prevail, because my Huskies just don't match up as well against a 6'7" post. Good luck vs the Bulldogs.
Do you believe UCONN matches up better with this current Oregon team (vs current MSU Team)? If so, why?
 

oldude

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Do you believe UCONN matches up better with this current Oregon team (vs current MSU Team)? If so, why?
Yes. It's mostly about post play and coaching.

First let's start with why Oregon matches up better with MS St. While Hebard gives up 3" to McGowan, she has enough size, strength and athleticism to hold her own. Once you neutralize McGowan, MS St is beatable. UConn has no one on the team who can match up physically with McGowan.

By the same token, Hebard will struggle with Pheesa. Two years ago, Pheesa had a monster game against Hebard in the Bridgeport Regionals. Pheesa is too quick, with an array of low post moves and she can stretch her game out to the arc.

The other advantage is that I believe Geno and his staff will outcoach Kelly and his staff.
 

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